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Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale 2010

 (RETIRED)
overall
94
88
style
Formerly brewed at Unibroue (Sapporo)
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Chambly, Canada

bottled
available

on tap
unknown

Local Distribution

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RATINGS: 181   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Unique and limited edition, this Belgian style ale is crafted once a year as a special treat for those of you who appreciate flavorful, bottle-conditioned ales with character. This year’s vintage: a rich, dark and full-bodied ale with a fine and generous coffee-colored, beige foam. It’s ready to enjoy right away and you may also wish to cellar a few bottles. It will evolve interestingly well, developing more complex flavors as the years go by. Keep bottle upright in storage. Best before 9-10-2013.


3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
HogTownHarry (6042) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - SEP 9, 2012
May 13, 2011 - with blankboy, jerc & mabel. 750ml bottle thanks to J&K. Hazy deep brick red, nice lasting fizzy/foamy off-white head. Sweet caramel aroma, yeasty, some dark fruits and a little red wine - nice. Taste follows, richer, spicy, more robust red wine character, solid alcohol. Average body, solid carbonation, spicy yeasty finish - as always a solid brew, well done.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Rosebud butternuts (2396) - Denton, Texas, USA - AUG 10, 2012
Bottle thanks to bhensonb. Poured dark brown with an off white head. Aroma and flavor were black licorice and alcohol. Body was light and fizzy.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
monk191 (780) - California, USA - MAY 28, 2012
UPDATED: DEC 19, 2012 Damn good. Has a lot of depth. Smells of coffee and chocolate, with a fruity hint. Dark black color. Tastes great, with lots of levels. Cellared for 1.5 years. Will definitely have again. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Beerona97 (2397) - Washington, USA - MAY 23, 2012
Pours black with a big foamy beige head. Aroma of clove, toffee. Taste follows suit, lots of sweet malt and Belgian yeast flavor. The alcohol comes through a little sharp.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
jsquire (3387) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - MAY 20, 2012
Mahogany hued dark beer with a big fruity nose of plum, raisen and dark sugar. Big, foamy beige head. Very lively on the tongue. Big sweet beer with lots of caramel and brown sugar, over ripe fruit and some cola. Distractingly carbonated.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
patrick767 (3528) - fort wayne, Indiana, USA - MAY 16, 2012
bottle at Ft Wayne tasting a couple weeks ago - Pours dark brown with a tan head and a malty, yeasty, dark fruit aroma. It tastes of sweet malt and Belgian yeast spiciness with a well developed dark fruit character. It’s medium to full bodied, has lively carbonation, and finishes with a little bitterness. Very good.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
csteele2144 (125) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 21, 2012
Black pour with a large tan head. Yeast dark fruits and malts on the nose and a taste to match. Another great vintage.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
superspak (2419) - Michigan, USA - DEC 21, 2011
750 ml bottle into tulip, best before 9/10/2013. Pours almost opaque dark brown color with a nice 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some nice bits of lacing cling to the glass as well. Aromas of big clove, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, dark candi sugar, ginger, dark fruit, molasses, and spicy yeast. Nice and interesting aromas; tons of spices going on here. Taste of caramel, molasses, dark fruit, clove, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, candi sugar, and big yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, molasses, candi sugar, and spices on the finish for a bit. Medium bodied with fairly high carbonation, but it doesn’t hurt the drinkability at all. Fairly creamy and smooth drinking; with a fairly prickly mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with nothing but a slight warming noticeable. Overall a damn nice spiced Belgian dark ale. Unibroue rarely brews a bad beer.

3.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Dfonorow (1329) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 6, 2011
Pour is dark brown with a slight tan head. Aroma is somewhat musty - yeast, dust, and some slight sweetness. Flavor is quite cloying, tons of molasses and cola flavors. Body is spicy and hoppy as well but the sweetness just overpowers it. Highly carbonated. Little to no alcohol presence.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
FlacoAlto (3759) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - NOV 22, 2011
Tried November 2011
A careful pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet Tulip produces a glass filling, dirty brown tinged, dark tan colored, initially four finger thick, but then quickly glass overlflowing head; this leaves some light, wispy lacing as it slowly subsides. The beer is a dark, concentrated, opaque, sort of black color, it seems to have tinges of concentrated brown / purple to it. The foam that was rescued from overflowing tastes a bit like concord grape-juice. The beer smells predominantly of sweet spices and fruit; it reminds me of clove, cardamom, a light concord grape soda note and a bright raisin note, though really the cardamom note seems to be the most noticeable (though not by a huge margin). Backing notes of a slight grain husk character and toasted brown bread are noticeable the more you dig for them. As the beer warms up the cardamom becomes more piquant, perhaps taking on a ginger like edge to it.

The beer feels light bodied and effervescent as it first hits my palate. The beer has a light sweetness to it up front, but this gets accentuated as it rolls across the tongue by a sweet spice and fruit character. Notes of cardamom and clove linger on the palate in the long finish, and there is perhaps just a wisp of toasted brown cracker character. The fruit reminds me of concord grapes and raisins. The spice character has a slight woody black pepper note to it, a touch of nutmeg, though it really is dominated by the cardamom and then clove character. The clove is likely from the house yeast, and there is also an earthy, sort of coriander like note that is distinctly from the Unibroue house yeast character.

A pretty tasty beer, it is a little too focused on the spice character, which isn’t surprising given the house yeast character, but it is nicely drinking all the same. The light mouth feel, is perhaps the best thing going for this beer (though the visual presentation is quite striking as well).


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